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Nearly Half of Americans Are Stressed About Their Love Lives

Discover tips for alleviating dating and love life stress.
Photo: Shutterstock

BetterHelp, the world’s largest therapy platform, conducted a survey in partnership with global research company Material, to uncover how Americans feel about their love lives—and where they turn for support. The survey of more than 1,000 adults revealed that nearly half of Americans (47 percent) are stressed about their love lives, and those who aren’t married are more likely to feel this stress than those who are (55 percent versus 38 percent).

These feelings are most pronounced among Gen Z, with 70 percent feeling stressed about their love lives compared to Millennials (57 percent), Gen X (49 percent), and Baby Boomers (27 percent). Similarly, 44 percent of Gen Z respondents say they feel negativity around Valentine’s Day, compared to 33 percent of Millennials, 24 percent of Gen X, and 14 percent of Baby Boomers. 

But talking to people can help. Nearly 1 in 3 American adults (32 percent) say they’re comfortable talking to a significant other about their mental health.

So how do single people plan to improve their dating or love lives? While about a third (33 percent) of single people say nothing can help their dating or love life, there are some potential solutions. Forty percent of single people say that going out more might help, while being set up by friends or family (19 percent) and prioritizing dating (18 percent) were other top fixes. Gen Z respondents were more than twice as likely as Baby Boomers to seek help from a therapist with their love lives (17 percent versus 7 percent), and all demographics felt that talking to a therapist about dating stress would be about as effective as using more dating apps (13 percent) in improving their love lives.

A licensed therapist at BetterHelp, Haesue Jo, LMFT, offered these tips to help alleviate dating and love life stress:

  • You’ve heard if before: be yourself, be honest, quit the games. Putting yourself out there is challenging, and facing the possibility of being rejected when you start really liking someone can make you bite your tongue or refrain from being honest and direct about your feelings and intentions. While it may be difficult, honest communication from the beginning will help you waste less time with people who aren’t on the same page. 
  • Spend energy, time, and some money on yourself where it matters—invest in your wellness all around, from being physically healthy to being mentally and emotionally strong. Learn to nurture the most important relationship you have—the one with yourself. Taking care of yourself and nurturing your needs is the foundation of self-love. If you aren’t someone you’d want to spend time with, how can you really expect anyone else to want to? 
  • Put effort into your other important relationships and maintain a solid support system. This is important whether you’re single, dating, married, divorced, or anything in between. Love comes in many forms, and giving and receiving love can happen with (chosen) family and friends too. Dating isn’t the only source of loving fulfillment, and counting on our dates to be the one source of love, affection, entertainment, companionship, and everything else is just a lot of pressure for anyone! 

This survey was fielded among 1,012 adults, ages 18-plus in the U.S. The survey was conducted online in January 2023 and has a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.

With more than 30,000 therapists, BetterHelp is the world’s largest therapy platform, facilitating over 5,000,000 video sessions, voice calls, chats, and messages every month. It sets out on a mission to make sure everyone has easy, affordable, safe, and discreet access to high-quality therapy. Since 2013, its licensed, accredited, and board-certified therapists have helped more than 3,000,000 people face life’s challenges and improve their mental health.

About The Author
julieKeller_author-1

Julie is the co-founder of Well Defined and a longtime influencer and advocate in the wellness world. Along with her work at Well Defined, she is an executive recruiter and marketing specialist for Hutchinson Consulting. She is also a consultant and content strategist for numerous wellness brands. She is the former editor-in-chief and publisher of American Spa and was named a 2019 Folio Top Woman in Media in the Industry Trailblazers category and a 2018 winner of ISPA’s Innovate Award. She is also a seasoned journalist, specializing in spa, travel, health, fitness, wellness, sustainability, and beauty. She has been published in Departures, ForbesTraveler.com, E! Online, Gayot.com, Insider’s Guide to Spas, Luxury Travel Advisor, Marin Magazine, Ocean Home, Smart Meetings, Spa Asia, and Travel Agent.